Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa says businesses close too early in Lusaka, which explains why street vending at night is being encouraged.

And Sampa says the Lusaka City Council police and Zambia Police will be in charge of patrols during the night.

Last week, Lusaka Province Patriotic Front chairman Paul Moonga said the party provincial executive agreed to a open a night vendor’s market along Lumumba Road, which would be operational from 16:00 hours to morning.

Reacting to the revelation, Sampa said businesses closed too early in the capital city, which was why street vending was being permitted at night beyond regular trading times.

“Give me time to liaise with Mr Moonga; as you may know at the political side, he is my boss. I will also report to the Minister of Local Government. Vending is illegal everywhere, but we have been milking the idea, even as the Council of having one street where we could allow street vendors. This is common in Brussels (Belgium) in Europe, in London and elsewhere they even trade for 24 hours. We are doing a pilot [project] of one road, which is the Simon Mwewa Lane. So, we agreed that let’s put one designated place for trials. So, trials have been going on from 16:00 hours to 20:00hours. What was discussed was that we want Cairo Road, Freedom Way and Cha Cha Cha Road to be a no-trade zone, no vendors!” Sampa told News Diggers! in an interview, Thursday.

“I am concerned that business in Lusaka comes to an end too early. People start working at 9.00am and at 5.00pm, they have knocked off. So, the more we encourage night trading, the better. We want people to transact up to 22:00 hours so that economic activities are taking place at micro-level. If we can handle economic activities at that level, It will help the entire nation. And one can argue that City Market closes at 5.00pm so people are complaining. So, that is why we are putting up night vending so that the streets can slowly takeover in the night.”

And asked who would be responsible for security at the night-vending, Sampa said it would be the Council police together with the Zambia Police.

“We want to put mobile toilets during that period. We don’t want them urinating or doing things in the corners of the streets. We have Council police and we will engage the Zambian Police to patrol to ensure that there is security,” said Sampa.